Fuji Instax Mini 90 Review (2018)(+Why You Need Instax in Your Life!)
As this is a mini camera I thought I’d do a mini review to explain why we should all have a Fuji Instax Mini in our lives!
- Part A is written for anyone, photographer or just a normal person!
- Part B is more photographer specific and goes into more detail+2 videos!
> PART A: Why you need a Fuji Instax Mini!
Fuji Instax Mini 90 Review – About
The Fuji Instax Mini 90 (“Mini Neo 90”) is the flagship of the Fuji Instax Mini line in 2018 coming in both black and brown. I bought the black (and silver) version to match my Leica M240 and other cameras but the brown version probably looks more cool in hindsight!
Small enough to carry everywhere
The Instax Mini 90 is small, super lightweight and easy to carry with you everywhere. You can fit it in a jacket pocket, handbag or wear it using the strap supplied like a fashion accessory. I’ve seen people wearing them on multiple occasions and they do look pretty cool!
Instax Mini cameras are cheap vs digital cameras
Instax cameras in today’s world are pretty cheap and probably cost about the same as what some people spend on a night out or on a new pair of trainers. Compared to you “main camera” that you use (your smart phone!) Instax cameras are super cheap!
Instax Mini 90 vs Fuji Instax Mini 9
The Instax Mini Neo 90 has the most features of all the Instax mini cameras in 2018 which was the reason I bought it. I used to own the original version of the now called Fuji Instax Mini 9 which is the most basic model. All Fuji Instax cameras do a similar job to the most part so if you are not bothered about having a nicer looking camera with more features you might prefer the Mini 9 and can save some cash.
*See review at the end of this article for a full guide to the Instax Mini 90
9 Fuji Instax Mini 90 Tips / Common mistakes to avoid
- You don’t actually need to shake it “like a Polaroid picture” (just wait)
- Blue sky photos look great but you need the sun behind you (not at the sun)
- Don’t get too close to your subject (your can’t get as close as with a phone)
- Use landscape model (if using the Mini 90) for sharper photos
- Make sure the flash is on in low light otherwise blurry photos from hands
- Low contrast scenes photo better (Instax can’t do bright and dark together)
- Vivid colours really “pop” well with Instax film, especially blue and red
- You can do double exposure photos with Instax cameras if you read up on it
- Carry a spare pack of film! Film always runs out at the wrong moment!
Fuji Instax Wedding!
Fuji Instax Wedding Guest Book
I’ve been using Fuji Instax cameras since 2013 and I think year on year they keep getting more popular for weddings. One of the most popular ways to use an Instax camera at a wedding is for guests to take a photo to add to the guest book. Here is proof from a wedding I shot back in 2015.
Fuji Instax Models
I sometimes take one of my Fuji Instax cameras on a model photoshoot. I have not scanned any of my recent Instax photos but here are some of my very first Instax pictures, taken with the old Fuji Instax 25 (Now the Fuji Instax Mini 9).
Instax Mini 90 Film – Colour & Monochrome
I found the most economical way to buy Instax Mini 90 film was to buy the 40 packs (for colour film). Fuji also released an Instax Mini monochrome (B&W) film which looks cool but you can only buy it in 10 packs so it works out a bit more expensive. I like the timeless look of the Instax monochrome film and I used that for one of my recent weddings. (It is worth noting for geeky photographers like me – Fuji Instax monochrome film is not true B&W tones but instead desaturated colour film which to most people looks the same as B&W).
Why do you need a Fuji Instax camera if you have a smartphone?
When I say to people you should get a Fuji Instax camera the most common reply is why? I have a smartphone. Here are 3 benefits of each option:
Benefits of a smartphone camera
- No additional cost – I already have a camera on my phone
- No additional baggage – a smartphone fits in my jeans pocket. I would have to hold an Instax camera if I bought one and carried it with me
- Unlimited photos – With digital cameras like a smartphone, if you have enough memory capacity you can take near endless photos for free!
Benefits of an Instax camera
- You get an instant photo – you can hold / gift to someone
- Fun to stick on your fridge / wall as a daily reminder / smile from seeing the picture / happy moment captured
- A lasting memory forever – Unlike digital photos that never get printed then get lost when you upgrade your laptop or computer, a tangible (printed) photo lasts forever.
#3: A Lasting Memory: The main reason to buy an Instax camera (for me)
I am old enough to have seen old photos being passed down from Great Grandparents and Grandparents that are no longer with us. The special photo that they kept safe in that little box lasted 2,3,4+ generations or more is now the only memory or record of that person. My parents are getting older and my brother and sister have young children who are growing up fast. I’ve made it my mission to photograph family life as much as I can on film or Instant film to provide a record for future generations. It sounds sad but a simple instant photo (print) that most people never take might be the only record if your computer hard drive blows up one day. I can’t remember the last time I printed a digital photo, nor when any of my family members did but luckily we have a few Instax cameras between us (and I shoot roll film so have all the negatives).
This is a very large Instant photo taken for the reason mentioned above back in 2014 when my Grandma was alive. 4 generations in 1 photo – Grandma, Mum, Sister, Niece! (Shot with a 4×5 large format camera + discontinued Fuji FP100C film (bleached negative)
What I Use
- The price of Instax cameras seems to change daily depending on who has what offers on. Here are a few links to the cameras and film I use to see the latest prices on Amazon:
- The camera like my first Instax camera:
- If you love the idea of square Instax photos you now have that option too with the latest camera from Instax. The film is the same stuff so will give the same results as my photos, the only difference is the film shape is square and a bit bigger than the Instax Mini:
That’s it for part A but skip to the end to see the all you need to know video on the Fuji Mini 90 or feel free to read part B too!
> PART B: Camera Geek Stuff + 2 Videos!
I thought most people might not care about this stuff so I spilt the review into 2 sections. Here I look at Fuji Instax film vs Polaroid film and how to get creative with Instax film as a photographer with existing film cameras.
Polaroid vs Instax Cameras
When I was researching to buy another instant camera I loved the idea of buying a Polaroid camera. That thought of shooting the classic looking square images that just somehow look so much cooler than a rectangle photo. There are a lot of old Polaroid cameras for sale on sites like eBay that can be found pretty cheap but the film is more expensive than Instax film.
*Polaroid have also released their new instant film camera to compete with Fuji Instax called the Polaroid OneStep2. For me the most important feature than would make me buy one camera over the other was the image quality.
Polaroid vs Instax Film – Why I Buy Instax!
Fuji Instax film has a very different look to it that Polaroid film. There are now quite a few different films available for Polaroid cameras but they all have similar traits. That being Polaroid film tends to capture a less accurate, less perfect, more creative representation of a scene. Usually with muted colours and tones. Some people love this Polaroid film look. Personally I wanted the sharpest most colourful photos possible.
Fuji Instax Film vs Polaroid Film (Side by Side Comparison)
Like with all my purchases I searched every source I could find on the internet. I stumbled across this video that compares the Polaroid OneStep2 vs Fuji Instax 300. What interested me was not the cameras featured in the video but the very useful comparison of Fuji Instax vs Polaroid film
Get creative with Fuji Instax Mini film – A Teaser!
I will keep this for a future post but just as a teaser.. here are two photos of my bike, both with Fuji Instax Mini film, but with two different cameras!
Ultimate Fuji Instax Mini 90 Tutorial / Guide – All You Need to Know!
When I spent ages researching all the various instant cameras prior to buying my Instax Mini 90 I found this video. It was the best of those I found and I still remember it! Rather than me write a list of things you should know about the Fuji Mini 90 here is the video that persuaded me to buy the Mini 90!
Happy Shooting …Instax!
- Fuji Instax Wide 300 – To Follow
- Fuji Instax Film in Medium Format & Large Format Cameras – To Follow
- Mamiya RZ67 Polaroids